An un-thinking society

Is this really a good idea, to start a war with Libya? I know, I know, humanitarian purposes and all that. But really? What about the humanitarian purposes elsewhere?

How many people have died in Yemen? What about Bahrain, where the military just tore down the square where anti-government protesters gathered? What about Syria? Bashir Assad is a dictator. Sudan? OK, so the referendum creating a new country in the south passed, but come on. Darfur, anybody?  That’s in the west.

Somalia? There’s not even a government to speak of there. Jordan? I’m sure we really don’t want to topple a king who once appeared on Star Trek (Deep Space Nine), but what’s the diff, folks?

So maybe none of these other countries have actually started an all out war on the opposition like Libya, but still. Oppressive regimes, lack of human rights, which reminds me, Saudi Arabia? How many of those 9/11 hijackers came from that kingdom again?

Do we really want to police the world? Or just the parts we don’t like? The warmongering neocons must be just absolutely giddy. All that saber-rattling about Iran and Venezuela. And hardly a peep about the Palestinian territories.

Ivory Coast? Now there’s crisis for you. The president lost his bid for re-election, declared the vote preliminary, and lo and behold, when the official count came out, he won! Imagine that. And now he’s busy putting down the “insurrection” led by the real winner of the election, who used to be prime minister.

And Zimbabwe’s still under the rule of Robert Mugabe, who’s nearly as nuts as Moammar Gadhafi.

In Afghanistan, we fight the Taliban while the corrupt government of Hamid Karzai gets our protection. Pakistan? Really? Are we talking the government or the intelligence service or the army? They’re not even on the same page. How can we hope to back the right side?

And Saturday was the eighth anniversary of the Iraq war. That sure worked out well.

But this is as it’s always been with American foreign policy — we pick and choose who to fight, depending on who’s in charge in Washington. We demonize the regimes we don’t like and look the other way when the ones we do like operate under the same rules.

And Americans, well, they really don’t give a shit. Besides, how many of us actually could point to all those countries on a map and get as close as the right continent?

I suppose you heard about the 1,000 Americans who took the citizenship test that immigrants are required to pass in order to become a citizen. Well, 38 percent failed. Here are some of my favorites:

Nearly 3/4 did not know what the Cold War was about. So all this screaming and yelling about socialism and communism is a bunch of bullshit these dunces hear on Faux News and Rush Limbaugh.

Seven in 10 did not know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. That doesn’t bode well for Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party.

Given a multiple choice question, 65 percent did not check the box that said the Constitution was written at the Constitutional Convention. That not only speaks ill of their lack of knowledge about the country, but it also says they lack the ability to reason.

Vast majorities didn’t know how many Supreme Court justices there are currently, that Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights or that John Boehner is speaker of the house.

They fared a little better on Martin Luther King — only 23 percent didn’t know he had something to do with civil rights.

Nearly half didn’t know that the Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments to the constitution.

Now that I’ve meandered far from bombing Libya, let me tell you what’s really wrong with America: Our education system is one of the world’s worst. We don’t teach anything useful, or anything about the country in which we live. Our teachers are forced to teach kids the things they need to know to pass ridiculously clueless tests that determine if the teachers keep their jobs and their schools keep their funding.

So add that to the list of things that “socialist” countries do so much better than we do. And prepare to bomb Iran.